zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hi, it's your dad here

A head's up - this isn't an unbiased review, it's a shameless plug for a zine by one of the SZR staff reviewers. 

Hi, it's your dad here
by Nathan Penlington

44 pages, A6.
£3 (+90p p&p UK, +£1.90 p&p rest of world)

Q: What do you get if you combine a piece of rubber tube, 2 pound shop funnels, 16 works of twentieth and twenty-first century literature, and an unnamed fetus? 

A: An experiment in literary incubation in the form of a zine. 

The backstory: my partner and I have just had a baby. It has been proven that babies form attachment to voices they hear while in the womb - naturally a mother's voice is the most comforting noise.

Obviously I was external to the incubation, so we wanted to come up with a way for me to bond with the baby while she was in the womb. 

I had a plan - I made a speaking tube so I could read out every night. This zine is a record of those books and the reasons why they were chosen. 

Featuring works by JG Ballard, Eudora Welty, Jules Verne, Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan, Raymond Queneau, Rikki Ducornet, Guy J Jackson, Ray Bradbury, AF Harrold, Ernest Noyes Brookings, David Greenberger, Franck Pavloff, Angel idigoras, Peter Manseau, and PT Barnum. Hi, it's your dad here -  is a zine in the form of a pocket sized book, at pocket money prices. 

Limited edition of 100 - all copies signed and numbered. 24 hand drawn illustrations, and my favourite thing, a soft-touch laminated cover. I know, sounds good right?

You can buy a copy with PayPal via my website: nathanpenlington.com - Hi, it's your dad here

Ok, plug over. I can hear a baby crying. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Drawing Is Hard

Drawing is Hard
Michelle Smith

32 Pages
Printer Paper - black and white
Size: Mini (4.25" x 5.5")
$2.00 + Shipping

This is an art zine printed in black ink, with a cream-colored cover and white pages - all on regular printer paper.

When I first saw this zine, I was very intrigued by just the concept - a person with an art degree using minimalist tools and references to create an entire zine of art. Michelle Smith uses a black crayon to draw, from memory, an animal corresponding with every letter in the alphabet.

The layout is very simplistic, containing one animal per page, and as the letters get a little more tricky, Smith uses a little humorous variation (especially around "X") among the drawings. Looking through the zine, I felt very connected to the drawings in that the print quality is so good, you almost expect to feel the crayon under your fingers when you touch it.
I apologize for my dry skin haha
While there is definitely nothing edgy or extreme about this zine, it is definitely a nice little thing to browse through and giggle at when you need a break. This work doesn't take too much of the mind to process, and sometimes that's a good thing. There's no hidden messages or deeper meanings, just cute drawings in black crayon.

And, sometimes you need things like that. ~

Purchase a copy through BlackShellPress on Etsy: Drawing is Hard

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 3/26/2017, 9:26 A.M. CST

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Kate Berwanger

8 pages
Size: Mini
Parchment Paper
$3.25 + Shipping

DRUG. is a flash-fiction by Kate Berwanger which describes the momentous heart-beats directly after a huge break-up.The (now previous) significant other has just walked out the door, and the narrator is left kneeling on the rug that once held so many precious memories.

Kate manages to brilliantly describe these terrible moments of a rough break up in around 400 words and does so in a way that is both heartbreaking and personal, but very easy to relate to. The descriptions and emotions are brilliantly described in that you can feel the gut-wrenching sensation the narrator is feeling just as it is occurring. The narrator is left on their knees absorbing what just happened while also reliving the past in a way that is sure to leave you gasping for air.

Printed on folded parchment, with a picture of the rug printed on it, the text is in a cut-paste type format which really suits this feeling of disconnection, yet sound mindedness in a time when one's emotions are in a flurry..

In the end, DRUG. is flash-fiction that makes you remember and ache for someone that could so easily be yourself.

Purchase on Etsy:  DRUG.

Kate's social media are as follows: InstagramEtsy

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed 3/25/2017 12:56 A.M. CST

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vice - Issue 5 & 6

Vice - Issue 5: Living Film & Issue 6: In the red

by Shayan Shafii 

16 pages, 6.5cm x 10.5 cm. B&W, stapled. 

$2 + postage

Vice is a great little pocket zine, with an old skool cut & paste style that is an aesthetic nod to the punk zines of the past.  

The content is a collection of music reviews, cartoons, stories, lyrics, images, and snapshots taken directly from experience. 

Issue #5 (October 2016) considers what happens when you experiment with sleep deprivation, what it's like working in a call centre, and the consequences of owning long living pets. 

The latest issue #6 (January 2017) examines the people riding Amtrak trains, plus poems and stories inspired by "the time for love, hate, and all kinds of intangible imbalances". 

In short Vice is a varied, interesting zine. And like the best kinds of zines - it fits in your pocket for those moments when rather than thoughtlessly scrolling through your phone, you can reach out and feel genuinely connected. 

To order contact: shayanshafii {at} gmail {dot} com

Check out details of past issues here: geocities.co.jp/shayanshafii/underground-society/vice.html

Review by Nathan Penlington.

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